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Hospital Fuses Inbound Marketing to Its Outbound Strategy

By Bridget CunninghamNov 14, 2017

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Healthcare professionals have always balanced a busy schedule. With the constant influx of patients and the potential for unexpected events, there’s never a slow day.

When surgeons and physicians do find the time to pause and relax—let’s say their lunch break, for example—time is of the essence. This means that they don’t want to sit down and read through long medical literature. They want to have access to educational content that is both informative and concise.

Now consider this from the perspective of patients. Tied to their own busy schedules, these people don’t want to spend endless amounts of time researching healthcare facilities and providers. They want information fast, and for it to be easy to digest.

With this in mind, a major Midwest regional hospital looked to revamp their marketing program, marrying outbound and inbound strategies

Outbound Marketing: Where It All Began

It wasn’t too long ago that companies relied mostly on print, radio and TV advertising to get their name out there. These are just some of the routes the hospital initially took to recruit its audience—a mix of healthcare professionals and prospective patients.

Trends emerging over time indicated the need for a change. More people began their research of healthcare facilities and providers online. This prompted many hospitals to start building online resource centers filled with medical literature from purchased journals. But the approach was missing the mark in a few ways.

With the long-form nature of the articles, many people lacked the time or energy to read through them in full. And then there was the cost. Journal subscriptions could run up an expensive bill every month—thousands of dollars to be exact.

The medical director knew the hospital needed a different approach to content creation. But what she also understood was the need to preserve some outbound marketing tactics. The hospital had to make sure it didn’t alienate an important demographic: senior citizens.

The solution came in the form of a compromise.

The hospital already had worked with Kuno Creative on its outbound marketing efforts. It was in 2015 that this partnership came to include inbound marketing strategy, as well.

Incorporating Inbound Marketing Into the Mix

As part of its new strategy, the hospital began to create blog posts and infographics for healthcare providers—both easy reads over lunch-time breaks. Unlike the previous product-focused content, the new educational content did not require approval from the hospital’s regulatory board. This created a more streamlined process for content creation, while also zeroing in on the audience’s needs.

In an effort to boost its online presence, the hospital also opted to undergo a website redesign. The hope was to attract new visitors to the site while delivering a good user experience from start to finish.

The combination of these elements led to impressive results.

The hospital experienced a 46 percent increase in web traffic year after year for services like surgical, cardiac and vascular. While search rankings via physicians have improved, the same can be said for patient enrollment. In fact, online appointment requests from new patients have gone up by 54 percent.

Now that we’ve looked at one example of mixing outbound and inbound marketing strategies, let’s explore other ways the two can complement each other.

How Inbound Marketing Can Complement Outbound Efforts

Improve Direct Mail Strategy with Lead Intelligence

With lead management systems like HubSpot, you have insight into a user’s every interaction with your website. By using this information to segment your database, you can personalize content for various mediums, from emails to direct mail.

Aside from tailoring the messaging for each audience segment, you can use inbound marketing to support the collection of mailing addresses. When leads fill out relevant forms on your website, such information can be fed back into direct mail delivery and design.

Immediate Lead Revisit Alerts Prompt Quick Follow-Ups

After a lead visits your website, a good chunk of time may pass before they return. Sales and marketing automation software can help bridge this gap by providing immediate revisit notifications to your sales team.

You can use this as your cue to reach out to prospects via phone. With your company top of mind, it’s more likely that prospects will have an interest in hearing about your services.

CTAs in Print Publications Prompt Further Engagement

Every piece of content you produce should encourage some type of action from a prospect. As you publish content on your website, you can link to related resources in print publications like ads and mailers. This could be a blog post or eBook related to the topic at hand.

The more content you create, the more opportunities you have to connect with your prospects. This offers greater incentive for them to continue researching your website and eventually turn to you as a provider.

The choice between inbound and outbound marketing doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can blend these two approaches to form a marketing mixture that effectively meets your needs. Check out how other companies achieved success using inbound marketing.

PIVOTING YOUR PLAN with Inbound Marketing

Additional Topics: Healthcare Marketing
Bridget Cunningham
The Author

Bridget Cunningham

After earning a journalism degree from The Ohio State University, she has helped to write web content for a variety of industries, both in full-time and freelance positions. Before joining Kuno, she worked as a web content coordinator for a physics software company, managing their blog program as well as various social media efforts.
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